movies

The 12 very best documentaries of 2019.

From two watershed moments in the entertainment industry to an insight into a disastrous music festival that never quite happened, to what the world could look like in 20 years, 2019 delivered a number of unforgettable documentaries.

With Christmas around the corner, we’ve compiled a definitive list of the very best documentaries released in 2019 and where you can watch them.

1. FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

Watch the trailer for FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened here. Post continues below.

Video via Netflix

FYRE charts the history of the Fyre Music Festival, due to take place on the island of Great Exuma in the Bahamas in early 2017.

From its inception to its ultimate unravelling, the documentary explores what went wrong, one step at a time.

Fascinating, shocking and insightful, FYRE holds a 90 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was co-produced by the social media agency who promoted the festival.

You can watch FYRE on Netflix.

2. Knock Down The House

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Knock Down the House is a documentary following four female US Democrats, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, during the 2018 midterm elections.

The documentary sees a young bartender from the Bronx, a coal miner's daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada and a registered nurse in Missouri build a grassroots movement of insurgent candidates to challenge seasoned politicians with powerful friends in Congress.

One of their races becomes the most shocking political upsets in recent American history.

You can watch Knock Down the House on Netflix.

3. The Great Hack

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Have you ever thought your phone – or more specifically, Facebook – was listening to you? Are you anxious about just how much data the social media giant is actually collecting in regards to your personal information?

The Great Hack investigates the Cambridge Analytica scandal that made news headlines all over the world in 2018.

The documentary brings the complex truth of data tracking and targeting to life as it details exactly how algorithms threaten the very structure of a healthy democratic society.

You can watch The Great Hack on Netflix.

4. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth Vs. Michelle Carter

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In July 2014, 17-year-old Michelle Carter sent a series of text messages to her boyfriend at the time, 17-year-old Conrad Roy, encouraging him to end his own life.

I Love You, Now Die explores their relationship, the suicide of Conrad Roy, and the subsequent investigation.

The two-part documentary has a rating of 96 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes.

You can watch I Love You, Now Die on Foxtel On Demand.

5. The Game Changers

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What is the optimal diet for human performance? That is the simple question The Game Changers tries to answer.

The documentary about veganism is produced by Academy Award-winning director James Cameron and focuses on a number of plant-based athletes including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan and Lewis Hamilton.

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It explores the health benefits of a meat-free diet and the impact it has on a person's strength.

You can watch The Game Changers on Netflix.

6. Tell Me Who I Am

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At 18 years old, Alex Lewis lost his memory after a serious motorcycle accident.

The only person he recognised when he woke up was his identical twin brother, Marcus.

Tell Me Who I Am follows the past that Marcus ultimately invented for Alex, in order to hide a dark family secret. Upon the discovery of a photograph, Alex realises he's been lied to all along.

You can watch Tell Me Who I Am on Netflix.

7. Homecoming

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Written, directed and executive produced by Beyonce Knowles-CarterHomecoming follows her world-famous performance at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The New York Times describes the documentary as an "intimate, in-depth look" at how a concert of this magnitude is put together, which ultimately ended in a "cultural movement".

You can watch Homecoming on Netflix.

8. 2040

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Damon Gameau's documentary 2040 endeavours to change how you think about climate change.

Gameau travels the world to prove that all the innovation needed to combat our climate emergency already exists. 2040 explores what's possible for our future if every single one of us made the planet our first priority, today.

You can watch 2040 on YouTube or Google Play.

9. Leaving Neverland

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Few documentaries made as much of a cultural impact in 2019 as Dan Reed's Leaving Neverland. 

Premiering at the 2019 Sundance Festival, the allegations made against late pop star Michael Jackson became front-page news all over the world.

Wade Robson and James Safechuck shared, for the first time, their claims of being sexually abused as children by Jackson.

You can watch Leaving Neverland on Ten Play.

10. One Child Nation

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 Screened as part of the Sydney Film Festival, One Child Nation exposes the devastating consequences of China's One-Child Policy by telling the stories of people affected by it.

Generations of parents and children have been shaped by the policy that was in place from 1979 to 2015.

The Hollywood Reporter described the film as "a valuable record and a sober but frightening illustration of the dark side of this government-controlled experiment".

You can watch One Child Nation on Amazon Prime.

11. Mothers on the Edge

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Louis Theroux, one of the world's most respected and accomplished documentary makers, released two new documentaries this year that were met with critical acclaim.

The Night in Question saw Theroux come face-to-face with students accused of sexual assault on US college campuses. Mothers on the Edge explored a UK psychiatric unit which treats new mums experiencing serious and debilitating mental illness.

The Night in Question and Mothers on the Edge are both available on Foxtel on Demand and Apple.

12. Surviving R. Kelly

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